The Red Cross is getting ready for Hurricane Sandy and preparing to open shelters in our region. Organizers and volunteers met Sunday to finish last-minute preparations. They expect to open at least one shelter in each county sometime Monday -- and perhaps more -- depending on how bad the conditions get.
"We're actually going through and looking at our supplies that we already have packed into our response vehicles," said Janice Osborne, a spokeswoman with the Northeast Pennsylvania Red Cross chapter. "We're loading up our trailer that has cots in it."
There is a method to this madness. Volunteers said opening shelters is a finely-tuned process that's rehearsed well in advance.
"There's an order to a shelter," said volunteer Alan Ellis. "Everything goes in the right place -- the cots go in one area, the food goes in another."
Red Cross officials won't say exactly where Lehigh Valley shelters will be yet, in case the weather forces a last-minute move. Osborne said, expect them to open by lunchtime Monday.
"Bring a pillow, to bring a blanket, bring a change of clothing," she said. "If you have a small child or an infant, make sure that you bring diapers."
Also bring blankets, dry socks to change into, and toiletries. But don't bring pets. Other than service animals, shelters can't take them.
"We are working very closely with CART here in Lehigh and Northampton counties to have -- with our shelters -- to have and area where people can keep their pets," said Osborn.
The Red Cross now has a new app that shows you -- on a map -- exactly where they have open shelters. More info here: http://www.redcross.org/prepare/mobile-apps